The Unusual Ancestral Skull of a Pygmy Andamanese Islander

The Unusual Ancestral Skull of a Pygmy Andamanese Islander

1700 to 1900 Pygmy Andamanese Islander

Offered by Finch & Co

Sold
Request Information Call Dealer
Favourite Item
The Unusual Ancestral Skull of a Pygmy Andamanese Islander
Old polished patina
18th Century or earlier

Size: 13.5 cm high, 14 cm wide, 19 cm deep – 5¼ ins high, 5½ ins wide, 7½ ins deep
Provenance: Purchased from a retired missionary of the Andaman Islands in the 1960's by an English private collector. Sold by his descendants
The Andaman Islands are composed of 204 small lush tropical islands in the Bay of Bengal. Until the late 1800's the islands were isolated and the inhabitants feared as head hunters. Early mariners wrote speculative accounts of them as ferocious dog headed cannibals. Colonial settlement in the 19th century by the English and Indians quickly affected the indigenous populations. Few of the Great Andamanese tribal group survive today due to both introduced disease and to physical changes in traditional lifestyle. Only about twenty five Great Andamanese now live on Strait Island.
Generally regarded by early anthropologists as one of the 'living examples of the oldest races of man' there was a scramble at the end of the 19th century as foreign diseases affected the population to understand the unique role played by the Andamanese in evolutionary theory and to record and collect the culture before it became extinct. Exotic souvenirs from these quickly disappearing people of a distinctly small stature became prized items in European collections.
The Great Andamanese exhume the bones of their dead some months after burial, the bones are then washed in the sea and wept over. The skull and jaw bone are kept, sometimes painted, and the jawbone often worn as a memorial.
Dimensions
Height 13.50 cm (5.31 inches)
Width 14.00 cm (5.51 inches)
Depth 19.00 cm (7.48 inches)
Medium
Ancestral Skull
Finch & Co

Finch & Co
Suite No 744
2 Old Brompton Road
London
SW7 3DQ
England

+44 (0)20-7413 9937
+44 (0)7836 684133
Favourite Dealer
Request Dealer Alerts
Opening Hours
Contacts
Member Since 2006
Members of
View Full Details

Browse More Items From Finch & Co

View Dealer's Gallery